Weddings, car chases, coming out… Film has always been good at crassly over-hyping the big moments, and too often filmmakers overplay the dramas of being gay. So it’s especially refreshing to see a mature, painfully real looks at these issues in Grown Up Movie Star, a new film by Canadian Adriana Maggs, receiving its UK Premiere in March at the Birds Eye View Film Festival (and which GFEST is thrilled to be co-presenting).
Grown Up Movie Star is no ordinary coming-out drama. Protagonist Ray is a former NHL star, weaned on machismo and lauded as the hero of his small town; and is himself inherently homophobic. The film doesn’t over-sentimentalise Ray’s journey as he discovers, recognises and tentatively accepts his homosexuality; nor does it overplay the painful moments of coming out to friends and family. The film is essentially a personal drama in which Ray’s struggle with his sexuality sits alongside a wife who’s left him for Hollywood, a drugs scandal, and his daughter’s own sexual awakening (played by Tatiana Maslany, who scooped the Sundance Breakout Performance Award for this film). Ultimately Grown Up Movie Star is as much about the universal themes of love and sexuality as it is about ‘being gay’.
It’s a film of remarkable maturity, insight and humour by Adriana Maggs, best known for hit Canadian TV series Three Chords From the Truth. She tells the story not from the external standpoint of ‘how difficult it can be to be gay’, but from ‘places of truth’. She explains: ‘We all struggle with our sexuality at some point in our lives. As young women, we are constantly bombarded with images, celebrities, music and tremendous pressure to be more than we are at any age… As far as Ray’s concerned, he’s really about love and finding his way. Being a good dad and son, finding peace and living in his own truth.’
GFEST – Gaywise FESTival is pleased to be co-presenting the UK Premiere of Grown Up Movie Star at 6.15pm on Friday March 11th at the ICA Cinema, as part of the Birds Eye View Film Festival 2011. We’re also supporting the International Shorts programme at BFI Southbank on Saturday 12th March, which includes a documentary piece on Manila’s Home for the Golden Gays, which has offered refuge to elderly and vulnerable gay men since 1969.
Birds Eye View celebrates and supports international women filmmakers from 8 – 17 March at BFI Southbank, the ICA and Southbank Centre; you can read more and book tickets at http://www.birds-eye-view.co.uk
Grown Up Movie Star – Dir. Adriana Maggs
18.15, 11 March 2011 @ ICA Cinema – Part of the Birds Eye View Film Festival 2011 http://www.brids-eye-view.co.uk